#3. A conversation on a plane - September 2011

The year after my husband had his kidney removed something happened that launched my thinking about being a kidney donor. I overheard a conversation on an airplane. At 35000 feet, I was reading a book, but couldn’t help overhearing the conversation that the two women next to me were having. One woman was explaining that her nephew had asked her whether she would donate a kidney to him. The gist of the conversation was that there was no way she was going to do this, and that really it was unreasonable of her nephew to ask her to do this. She said, “He’s on dialysis, it’s not like he’s dying. It’s a big thing to ask me to give up my kidney. What if I need it?”

I felt like joining in the conversation, but I restrained myself because I didn’t want to be rude. I have met many people who live on dialysis. It’s a difficult life, and it’s not the same as having a kidney to clean your blood. There are health problems, and your life expectancy is significantly reduced. You get on the list for kidney donation because it’s a hope for a better life. You need a new kidney, or you will die. I thought about all this as I was listening to the conversation of these two women on the plane.

As I listened to this woman on the plane, I wanted to say to her, “If it was me, I would do it. I would donate a kidney if someone asked me. It would save their life.  You can live well with one kidney, I’ve seen my husband do it!” 

That got me started on this path to donate a kidney; I overheard a conversation on a plane.